Online Criminal Justice Schools as a Career Path

Does working in the field of criminal justice appeal to you? What about taking your training in an online school? Many assume that they would not receive rigorous training in an online setting. But what is the difference between and online school and a standard, traditional school? You may be surprised to discover that the content is almost the same; it is the process of teaching that differs. The traditional course takes place in real time and real space, whereas, the online course is asynchronous. Both have virtually the same content: basic courses in writing, in math and history, in sociology, and government, and specialized training in criminal justice programs, law enforcement, the courts, as well as community and institutional correction, security programs on safety, and asset protection.

OK, the content is one major aspect of a curriculum, but what about the process by which the content is delivered? When the student signs on to her classroom, the first thing she notices is that the monitor screen is divided into color coded panels and there are many links available to take one to specific functions. The first one she notices is Announcements. Here the Administration will often post emergency messages such as a site being down for repair. Also posted here are office hours, policy on late submission and plagiarism. Make up work and illness policy, and so forth.

As we move down the screen we see the next color coded panel to deal with the assignments. This gives a description of the task along with lectures and examples of how the task should be executed. It also provides a list of criteria of acceptable performance. All of this is expressed in a rubric, giving a set of points for each task.

At the bottom of the screen is a panel labeled as Problems and Solutions.Here, a student is encouraged to share with the class any discoveries he or she has made. This could be the discovery of new links or new ways to navigate.

At about center, there is a link to Ask the Professor. Here the student can post questions for the instructor and be assured of getting a response, if not right away, then in 24hrs. The responses are public.

Also, at the very heart of the course is the Discussion Thread. Here the instructor introduces a prompt and the students respond. The idea here is to gain maximum participation, so the instructor will respond to the students and move the question along with a student response to another student and then to another, and so forth. Grading comes next and here the system provides a breakdown of scores on the discussion thread and on objective tests (which are timed, by the way) and on project work with one's group. The system also calculates a cumulative average. These scores are useful in counseling with a student about performance in the course and extremely important in case the student challenges the grades, sometimes to the point of engaging legal support. Here the grades will become essential to arguing the case.

Most of the meetings an instructor has with students are of a private nature. If the instructor uses email for conferencing, he needs to click on the privacy link at the bottom of the email screen. Otherwise, the site will not be private.

A Range of Tutorials and Online Criminal Justice Schools

The online system provides the student with a range of tutorials. For example, suppose a student has difficulty with documentation. The student can click on tutoring and choose the tutorial needed. It will take the student to APA (American Psychological Association). This site will map out and give examples of how to provide footnotes and how to document sources.

Suppose, on the other hand, that the student has difficulty with what appears to be plagiarism. The APA will define and give examples of types of plagiarism, but will actually compare the student's essay with millions of copy and then present the comparison side by side and calculate a percentage of duplication. This result can be presented to the student for correction. If the student needs a live tutor that also can be applied for. One may need tutoring on how to effectively use the online library and this is also available.

Going back to the left side of the screen, one may see a panel marked as Student Lounge. This is a place students can meet informally and share whatever they choose. This is a non-graded site and is useful in many ways, the main being that bonding often takes place here. The students become friends and support for others throughout their academic career.

Thus, the online schools indicate that space and time are manipulative and that they can operate from an asynchronous framework. As a student, one can travel the globe and still fulfill the requirements of an online course. If there are meetings to attend, they are fulfilled on line. The traditional courses are time and space bound.One has to go to a specific room on a specific campus in a specific city and state and at a specific time of the week and month. In an asynchronous class one can stay home and complete the requirements of the course without getting out of bed. All they need is a desktop or laptop that can be plugged into the course and all of the registration for such a course takes place online. I have a friend that regularly travels to Mexico and he stays there for several weeks, but he does not miss a stroke on keeping up with his course that he is taking online. I have another friend who is a night person and does not rise until late in the afternoon. He checks into his online course about midnight and completes all the assigned tasks. Neither of these students experience any conflict. In the time they are not in the classroom they are doing other productive academic and business tasks. They may even be engaged in another curricula in online business schools.

There are many accredited online college degree programs that need online adjunct instructors to teach the online college courses. An individual with the appropriate graduate degree, a Ph.D. or master's degree, can teach online college classes for online criminal justice schools, online business schools or online accounting schools and earn considerably more that is possible to earn teaching college and university students in a physical college classroom. An aggressive online adjunct professor can develop an online teaching schedule with multiple adjunct online teaching jobs in it. For-profit colleges that confer the bachelor degree online and master's degree online are a very good place for a prospective online adjunct to start applying for online adjunct jobs. Additionally, traditional colleges, universities and community colleges are offering many more online degree programs, including an online college degree program that focuses on a hotel management degree online, to their new and returning college students.